Vegan burgers are getting yet another upgrade “just like beef.”
Beyond Meat is giving its signature vegan burgers the meatiest upgrade to date. The two new vegan burgers will have an “enhanced meaty flavor” and contain less fat than traditional 80/20 beef. One of the burgers reduces fat by 35 percent and the other by 55 percent. Both contain a B vitamin profile similar to beef, including B12.
A traditional Beyond Burger contains as much saturated fat as a beef burger. It gets its saturated fat from coconut oil. But in order to be considered a “lean” ground beef product, it needs to contain fewer than 4.5 grams of saturated fat per serving; extra lean needs to tick down to 3.5 percent. According to Beyond Meat, its newest burgers contain no cholesterol compared to the 70 mg found in grass-fed beef.
While the fat content is down, Beyond Burgers are still high in sodium — 390 mg per burger versus 77 mg in beef. But despite the sodium content, the addition of B vitamins may make it an even better bet for consumers seeking a healthier burger. More than 40 percent of the population struggle with low levels of B12 or B12 deficiencies, according to the USDA.
“I think there is a lot of undetected vitamin B12 deficiency out there,” according to Katherine Tucker, nutritional epidemiologist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. The deficiency has long been linked to a vegan diet, but, according to Tucker, that’s simply not the case. Deficiencies are far and wide among all different diet preferences.
“There is a question as to what the clinical cutoff for deficiency should be,” Tucker said.
“Just as you can find different varieties of ground beef, consumers will now have more choice to satisfy their individual nutritional needs and preferences,” Beyond Meat CEO and Founder Ethan Brown said in a press release issued earlier today.
“Our commitment is to provide consumers with absolutely delicious plant-based meats that are better for people and the planet, no sacrifice required,” Brown said. “These new iterations deliver on this promise.”